Calhoun County

1891 Biography - Charles Squier

CHARLES CARLTON SQUIER is the son of a pioneer of Calhoun County, where he has passed nearly all his life. He is one of the most extensive and prosperous landowners within its limits, owning a part of the old homestead which is finely located in Hardin Precinct in the beautiful and fertile valley of the Illinois. He was born in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, N. Y., June 30, 1831. His father, Charles Squier, was a native of the town of Monson, Hampden County, Mass., where his father owned a large mill and was a well-to-do citizen. He spent his last years there and in his comfortable home reared eleven sons and four daughters to useful and honorable lives.

The father of our subject passed his boyhood and early manhood in his native State and was there married to Azubah Green, who was born in the town of Wales, Mass., March 4, 1797, and was a daughter of Robert and Hannah (Gardner) Green. Fioni a genealogical work prepared by R. Green, M. D., of Boston, Mass., we extract the following information concerning the origin of the Green family in America: ''The first known ancestor of Azubah Green in America was Robert Green, who settled in Wales, Hampden County, Mass., in 1784 (his birthplace not given). He married Sarah Rogers, and later moved to Tolland, Conn., and resided a few years, then returned to Wales where he spent the remainder of his days. The next in line was his son Joel, who was born in Wales and married Abigail Nelson. And the next in order was their son, Robert Green (grandfather of our subject) who, so far as known, spent his entire life in Wales."

Previous to his marriage Mr. Squier had visited Western New York, making the journey on foot, with a desire to see something of the country and with a view of locating there if he liked. He was favorably impressed with what he saw, and after he was wedded he took his bride and all his worldly possessions and started in a one-horse carriage for their future home. He bought a tract of timber land and as soon as he settled on it commenced to clear and improve a farm. His title, however was not good, and after a few years he lost his land. He then concluded to come farther westward and with his wife and six children started for Illinois. They proceeded on a raft down the Alleghany River to the Ohio and thence down the Ohio and up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers on a steamer, landing at the present site of Hardin in the spring of 1833. Mr. Squier had but seventy-five cents in his pocket when he arrived on the scene of his new home, but he went to work with a will to better his financial condition. He and his family moved into a log cabin six miles below Hardin and he commenced life here by working at __ cents a day. At that time the country was sparsely settled and but very little improved. Deer, bears, wolves and wild turkeys were plentiful and often passed by the cabin, so that he could take the chinking from the wall of his dwelling and shoot turkey with his old flintlock gun.

Mr. Squier's labors were well rewarded and was finally enabled to become more independent by renting a tract of land, and in the course of ___ years was so prosperous that he had the means to buy two hundred acres of land in what is now Hardin Precinct and a part of it included in the lovely valley of the Illinois River. The one hundred and sixty acre tract was timber land and the forty-acre piece was mostly improved. He erected his house on section 23, five miles south of Hardin and was a resident here with the exception of two or three years till his death, which occurred here in the year 1857. His wife, mother of our subject, died in Gilead Precinct in 1835. Six of their children were reared to maturity, namely: Caroline, Elva C., Mary A., Asher Green, Luna P. and Charles Carlton.

The latter, who forms the subject of this review was in his second year when he came to Calhoun County with his parents and here he was bre__n their pioneer home. He attended school in a rude primitive building with a puncheon floor and heating by an old-fashioned fireplace, furnished with slabs for seats and a board across the end of the room for a desk on which the larger scholars practiced their writing. The schools were taught on the subscription plan and the teacher "boarded around" among the parents of his pupils. To use a common phrase he "boarded the longest where the pot boiled the strongest." As soon as large enough our subject commenced to assist on the farm and helped his father till his marriage. He then rented land for two years and at the expiration of that time moved on the farm he now owns, and he occupies a part of his father's old homestead. His farm is highly cultivated and improved with a substantial residence, a view of which will be found elsewhere in this volume. It is regarded as one of the finest and most desirable estates in the county. He owns nearly nine hundred acres of land including quite a tract of rich bottom land on the Illinois River and has besides forty acres in the Territory of Arizona.

Mr. Squier and Miss Jane Mortland united their lives and fortunes November 9, 1854. Mrs. Squier was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and is a daughter of John and Mary (Lammy) Mortland. The following six children have blessed their happy wedded life — Mary J., John A., Ella E., Charles L., Azubah and Cora. Mr. and Mrs. Squier are people whose intelligence, kind and courteous manners and generous consideration in their relations with others have gained them genuine respect and a warm place in the hearts of all about them. They are earnest and consistent Christians and are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a Republican.

Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 566-569

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